“A tidy house makes for a tidy mind”.
I get constant comments on Instagram from fellow mummy’s (& some without littles) asking how on earth I keep my home so tidy with two little people, a not so little husband & a pug who do pretty much nothing all day everyday apart from making mess everywhere they go.
Hardwork is the answer. But not as hard as you may think.
Keeping a clean (i’ll blog about that separately as clean is completely different to tidy) & tidy house is a massive thing for me as I can’t relax until everything is ‘in it’s place’. I live by routine & this keeps everything in order as well as ensuring that it’s easy for me to tidy up when Elsa decides to take out every single toy she owns. Believe me, my house gets messy just like anybody else’s, but it takes 5 minutes to go back to it’s normal immaculate state so it doesn’t bother me when it looks like Peppa pig & the cast of Cbeebies have been on a rampage.
Every evening whilst Joe is putting the littles to bed, I go on a crazy 5 minute tidying spree. In that 5 minutes, I literally run around picking things up, putting them away and so on. I also do this a couple of times through the day too, although I don’t tend to put so much away but more move any of Elsa’s toys that have strayed into the lounge area back into the conservatory. I always find that keeping on top of things makes it a lot easier at the end of the day.
By using the below tips, I find it really easy to keep on top of the cleaning side of things too, which I actually don’t do anywhere near as much as you may think, as I don’t have much ‘stuff’ to clean around.
- Anything you don’t use regularly
- Is broken/doesn’t work or not fit for purpose – including those size 8 jeans you haven’t been able to fit into for 5 years & probably never will again
- You find ugly
- You might use one day….maybe, but probably not
2. STORAGE –
Clever storage is absolutely essential for keeping a tidy home.
Storage doesn’t have to be ugly either, just because you have children doesn’t mean that you need a bright yellow unit with lime green plastic drawers (this is the biggest bain of my life – yes i’m sure the bright colours are fabulous for their imagination & all of that, but call me selfish all you want, I’m sure they can go through life without too much mental damage/long-term affects with a more aesthetically pleasing one). You need to find a way to hide the mountains of equally tacky luminous toys which unfortunatly for us mumma’s are unescapable.
Storage solutions are all over the place in my home so here’s a few pictures of where I shove all the ugliness for out of sight/out of mind satisfaction –
A beautiful oversized basket can hide a multitude of sins. By draping a decorative throw over you can hide all those unsightly bits – this houses Elsa’s potty, Rory’s bumbo, a tray & my laptop.
Plus this chest of wicker drawers from the range is perfect for the rest of Elsa’s toys including mountains of disney DVD’s.
We also have the same one out in the hallway which holds things like batteries, gloves/scarfs, Elsa’s shoes, my Annie Sloan paint & brushes etc.
3. ORGANISE –
Everything in our house ‘has a home’ so specific things go in specific places meaning that when something needs to be put away (or found), it becomes automatic to pop it in X drawer or Y cupboard. This makes it SO much easier once you know exactly where everything goes & without even thinking about it can pop it away, in fact, I have not once told Elsa where stuff goes but she automatically puts it away where she finds it (maybe she’s an OCD nutter like me though). See those musical instruments? They all live together in the same drawer. And those Disney DVD’s? Well they live in that drawer! Simple right?
4. ANTI-HOARD –
We have a long running joke in our household that if it’s not nailed down then it’s on Gumtree or Ebay. I am constantly selling stuff from Elsa’s old clothes, to furniture i’ve got bored of, to my husband (but nobody wants him no matter how much I drop the price). Haven’t used the cooking contraption you were bought 4 years ago for your birthday & have no idea what the hell it even is? CHUCK IT. Be absolutely ruthless…if you are umming & arring the likelihood is that you don’t need it so just either sell it, donate it to charity or bin it. Be the complete opposite of a hoarder.
My top tips –
- Start small – you can’t suddenly turn around one day & chuck out half the contents of your house. Well, I mean you could, & i’d be on the sidelines cheering you on BUT it’s not realistic.
- Make a list – I am the queen of list making (you should see my notes on my phone & every notepad in our house). Make a list of everywhere you put ‘stuff’, then go through these & de-clutter. It may be that you only have time for 1 drawer a week, but I can promise you if you follow the above you’ll be well on your way to a much tidier home & clearer mind.
- Give to charity – nothing beats giving to those in need. By sorting out all the stuff you don’t want/need, you are also helping others – it’s a win win situation 🙂
- Be ruthless – don’t keep things ‘just in case’. It’s not worth keeping things because they may possibly come in handy one day, when they haven’t for the past 5 years that they’ve been sat in your cupboard. I always find that if I really need something then I can usually borrow it from family/friends then hand it back without it cluttering up my cupboards.
- Sell your way to happiness – I LOVE selling things. It makes me feel happy that i’ve got rid of something that I no longer have use for & made someone else happy in the process. I can then repurpose that money & buy things a bit more worthwhile, like beautiful home wear, with said money OR put it towards something like a family day out.
- Keep focused – set your mind to something & do it. Procrastination is something we are all guilty of however I always set myself tasks like ‘I can have a cup of tea once i’ve finished sorting this unit’ or ‘no lunch until I list these items on Gumtree’. I affectionately call this state of mind ‘getting shit done’.
- If you see something, do it then & there – when your lovely 2 year old has decided would be a great idea to to pull out the entire contents of a cupboard all over the kitchen floor….don’t just leave it until later! I always find that if something is out of place (beyond the usual stray toys which are absolutely fine) then if I don’t do it then & there, it will just all mount up. Half the time I feel like all I do is tidy up after everyone BUT having a tidy house is really important to me.
Do you have a depop account? Its my new favourite selling App. I completely agree on the storage solutions. I love baskets/crates xx
Thanks Charlotte, I seriously need to declutter but end up overwhelmed. I'm starting with a list of places then I'm going for it! X
Fab read as always, I'm exactly the same can't settle if the house is untidy ~ everything has its place i just wish my husband would hurry up and learn (perhaps a future blog post ~ how to train your husband ?) he still doesn't know where the colander lives 18 months on drives me potty! We too have lots of storage but the thing i struggle with are the big pieces the baby prams the kitchens, i dont mind the dolls house (its quite pretty!) Make your requests now for xmas you'll get bombarded with them now Elsa is getting older….i think we have four prams here and one at each grandparents i mean who needs six prams she only has two arms, i seriously need to get shot but miss H is very attached! I also wish my house could be a little cleaner but i stuggle with time for this on top of everything else i mean its not grubby by any means but i would like to mop the floors more often or hoover under the sofa more than once in a blue moon ? anyway im waffling all i wanted to say was good post!
Happy Anniversary too your wedding and anniversary post were super sweet made me well up xxx
Absolutely love this post and tips, especially getting white done lol!! Thank you for sharing and I am So excited for your cleaning post already x
I've heard of it before but haven't used it – I usually buy/sell locally rather than with Ebay as I find they take so much in fee's then with the hassle of P&P it sometimes isn't worth it! x
Go for it Sarah! I always say, there's no time like the present. If you think about it too long you'll never end up doing it x
I wish I could post about how to train your husband but my husband isn't properly trained yet either so it's something i'll work on 🙂 he's not awful but could certainly improve on a few things like cleaning the toilet after use eurghhhhh….men are disgusting.
I totally agree with you on the big toys – we have a big teepee & play kitchen in the conservatory play area which i've gone for the more aesthetically pleasing rather than ugly plastic ones BUT i'm sure it'll just get worse the older they get. I do normally ask for things for Christmas/Birthday that they actually want/need so we don't end up inundated but my in-laws in particular get a bit carried away with the spoiling eeek!
We are all guilty of leaving jobs, I hardly ever mop (although have to hoover under the sofas as they are raised but in our old house you should have seen the mess that was under there when we moved….IG would have been horrified!). It's impossible if you ever want to live a life so try not to get too caught up in it – we aren't superwoman after all, even if we try to be.
Massive love to you for your lovely comment & for reading xx
Thanks lovely – it's always a struggle keeping on top of things! I'm going to do a vlog in the next week once I get my hands on a camera with video option to prove how little it takes me to tidy up 🙂 x
Oh, my wife will gonna love reading your post. This is awesome! You got a tweet from me!
I just got mega inspired by your blog, I got out of my bath and tidied my sideboard draws and cupboard in my lounge �� #excitedforatidyorganisedhome xx